Monday 17 June 2019

Irish stores escape LK Bennett woe

Victim: LK Bennett has collapsed, but its Irish stores will not be affected
Victim: LK Bennett has collapsed, but its Irish stores will not be affected

LaToya Harding and Gavin McLoughlin

LK Bennett has become the latest victim on the UK high street after collapsing into administration.

The company's Irish operation will not be affected as yet however, as that comes under its international arm which is not part of the administration process.

Founded by entrepreneur Linda Bennett in 1990, the British firm made a £5.9m (€6.9m) loss in the year to July 2017, according to the most recent set of accounts.

Famed for its kitten heel shoes, the womenswear retailer has appointed accountancy firm EY as administrators.

They have already cut the number of head office employees and closed five stores. EY will now try to find a buyer.

"Amidst tough trading conditions for retailers, the company has been further impacted by significant rent increases and business rate rises," said EY joint administrator Dan Hurd.

"[Ms Bennett] and the management team therefore made the difficult decision to place the company into administration to protect the future of the business."

He added: "LK Bennett is a strong luxury UK brand, the new season collection was critically acclaimed and recent trading is up, which we hope will be attractive to prospective buyers."

In 2008, Ms Bennett sold her business to Phoenix Equity Partners and Sirius Equity for £100m but was brought back as a consultant.

Additional reporting Daily Telegraph, London

Irish Independent

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